Kyle instructed Calvin to stay in the Spaceship while he, accompanied by Enri, entered the Dueling Arena. However, this time, they didn’t use the main entrance but instead took a secluded and lesser-known staff passageway that led directly to the underground prison.
As they approached the laser-guarded door, they were immediately intercepted by Sakaar guards armed with laser weapons. “Halt, outsiders. Take one more step, and you’ll be subject to Sakaar law, as set forth by the Grandmaster,” One of the guards warned.
Kyle furrowed his brows slightly, and Enri quickly waved her hand, presenting her identification badge to explain their purpose. “I am Enri, the hostess from the Exchange Center, and this is Mr. Kyle. I have spoken to your chief guard before, and he has granted us permission to visit the challenger.”
The Sakaar guards exchanged glances, and one of the older guards nodded, speaking sternly, “Wait here.”
He picked up a communication device and reported in a hushed tone. After receiving orders from the other end, his expression softened somewhat, and he told Enri, “Indeed, there is such an arrangement. However, only one person is allowed to enter, and you’ll have just five minutes.”
This time, Enri furrowed her brows. She was about to negotiate for better terms when Kyle waved his hand, interrupting her. In a calm voice, he said, “I’ll go in alone.”
“Let me escort you. You must not leave my side during the entire visit, or I have the authority to neutralize you. Also, during the visit, you will need to wear this,” The guard said as he retrieved a small device from his belt.
Kyle recognized it immediately. It was a neural control device. One end connected to the human body, and with a press of the remote control button, it could incapacitate even Thor.
Seeing Kyle’s slight hesitation, the older guard said with a wry smile, “Sir, the Grandmaster has already granted you access to the prison, which was against protocol. Please don’t make it difficult for us.”
“No problem, go ahead and put it on,” Kyle nodded calmly. The older guard approached and attached the small neural device just below his ear. With a soft click, the device adhered firmly to his neck.
Kyle remained expressionless as he adjusted the collar of his clothing to hide the device that emitted a faint electrical glow.
“Take this,” The older guard handed the controller to another guard, then opened the laser-protected door and motioned for Kyle to follow.
Kyle took a final glance at the controller in the guard’s hand, then calmly turned his gaze away and followed the older guard, who led the way toward the underground prison.
As they walked through the underground passage leading to the prison, nobody noticed that Kyle’s left wrist was now empty, the electronic watch he had been wearing was long gone.
“Miss Enri, you can wait outside for now,” The guard stationed at the laser-protected door said with a smile to Enri.
“Alright,” Enri nodded, taking a few steps back. She turned around every few steps, feeling an inexplicable sense of unease.
“Perhaps it’s the thought of so many extraterrestrial lifeforms dying here that’s weighing on my mind,” She self-deprecatingly thought. She took a deep breath and completely left the entrance to the underground prison behind.
Not long after Enri’s departure, the guard who remained outside the prison door placed the controller in his pocket and quickly picked up a communication device.
“Reporting to the Grandmaster, the individual named ‘Kyle’ has entered the Dueling Arena prison,” He urgently reported.
There was silence at the other end of the communication for a moment, then a hoarse and composed voice responded, “Very well, continue to maintain communication, and increase the number of guards inside the prison.”
“Understood!” The guard respectfully replied.
Meanwhile, at the highest level of the Interstellar venue, on the platform that is usually used by the Grandmaster to watch the duels.
In a lavish and opulent room, there was only one person present, an alien man of middle age. His face was smeared with high-level blue dye from Planet Sakaar. He sat cross-legged on a mechanized seat.
The high-ranking guard turned off his communication device with one hand. Veins bulged on his forehead, and his other hand rested on the mechanized seat. He pressed it forcefully, causing it to sink in!
Dark liquid enveloped the guard’s head, like a real demon’s hood. His facial features distorted and contorted in a gruesome and menacing fashion.
The guard raised one hand, and it transformed into a resilient keratin membrane, with a huge palm and sharp fingertips. He picked up a steel glass from the table, laughing maniacally as he used it to suppress and dispel the fear building up inside him.
“Half a year, I thought that man would never return to this place, but he just had to show up in front of me again!” He muttered to himself with a voice filled with anger.
As he spoke, a layer of dark fluid wrapped around the high-ranking guard’s head, like a real demon’s hood. His facial features continuously twisted and contorted, exuding a menacing and furious aura.
The high-ranking guard raised one hand, which had transformed into a resilient keratin membrane with a large palm and sharp fingertips. He picked up a steel glass from the table, laughing manically as he used it to suppress and dispel the fear building up inside him.
“Venom! The things you dare not do, I will do for you!”
“After all, we were originally one! Only by completely erasing that man from this world can we truly be free!”
Slaughter let out a disdainful snort and the steel glass bottle he was holding almost shattered. He placed it back on the table with a crisp sound, put on his coat, and left the room.
The glass bottle left behind, bearing cracks, trembled slightly. It seemed as if a dark liquid inside was swirling and churning and it was as if a living being was rolling intensely. It seemed eager to break free, but soon it lost its strength and settled down, returning to a calm state.
In the underground passage leading to the prison:
The guard led the way with Kyle following closely behind. Their footsteps echoed through the corridor.
“By the way, who is the challenger you want to visit?” The guard asked curiously, turning to look at Kyle.
“I don’t know his name,” Kyle replied after a moment of thought. He described, “He’s the young boy with tentacles who recently made it to the final four and is about to compete for the championship.”
“Oh, I see.” The guard nodded, but his expression became somewhat odd. He asked further, “And what relation are you to this boy?”
“He’s a friend, somewhat like family,” Kyle answered briefly, reluctant to reveal too much.
The guard hesitated for a moment before continuing, “It’s strange, though. That boy was just a petty thief from the outer city who was arrested by one of our guards a month ago. He was severely beaten before entering the prison, and he’s been sickly ever since. It’s quite surprising that he suddenly became so strong and made it to the final four. Don’t you think it’s strange?”
“Hmm?” Kyle looked at him in surprise.
“But the universe is vast, and there are many fighting species that can recover their strength dramatically after severe injuries,” The guard concluded, displaying an active imagination.
Listening to this, Kyle blinked his eyes intermittently. He, of course, knew the reason behind the boy’s sudden increase in power. It was undoubtedly Venom, coexisting and bonding with him.
But why would Venom do this? Why would it bond symbiotically with an injured child? Who was its previous host?
“It’s just ahead,” The guard said, pointing to the entrance of the prison, which was now visible not far in the distance.
However, Kyle suddenly stopped in his tracks, his face displaying an unprecedented seriousness. His muscles tensed throughout his body.
Something’s not right here! Something is very wrong!
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